A mutation analysis of the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene in the Israeli population

Dani Bercovich*, A. Elimelech, T. Yardeni, S. Korem, J. Zlotogora, N. Gal, N. Goldstein, B. Vilensky, R. Segev, S. Avraham, R. Loewenthal, G. Schwartz, Y. Anikster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) is a group of diseases characterized by a persistent elevation of phenylalanine levels in tissues and biological fluids. The most frequent form is phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency, causing phenylketonuria (PKU). Among 159 Israeli patients (Jews, Muslim and Christian Arabs and Druze) with HPA, in whom at least one of the mutations was characterized, a total of 43 different mutations were detected, including seven novel ones. PKU was very rare among Ashkenazi Jews and relatively frequent among Jews from Yemen, the Caucasian Mountains, Bukhara and Tunisia. The mutations responsible for the high frequency were: exon3del (Yemenite Jews), L48S (Tunisian Jews) and E178G, P281L and L48S (Jews from the Caucasian Mountains and Bukhara). Among the non-Jewish Israeli citizens, the disease was relatively frequent in the Negev and in the Nazareth vicinity, and in many localities a unique mutation was detected, often in a single family. While marked genetic heterogeneity was observed in the Arab and Jewish populations, only one mutation A300S, was frequent in all of the communities. Several of the other frequent mutations were shared by the non-Ashkenazi Jews and Arabs; none were mutual to Ashkenazi Jews and Arabs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Human Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Arabs
  • Druze
  • Jews
  • Mutation analysis
  • PAH
  • Phenylalanine hydroxylase gene
  • Phenylketonuria


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